Friday, October 29, 2010

Dad


The call came. I'd felt prepared. Every time the phone rang, I expected it. So why is it that when it arrived, it still felt like the bottom dropped out of my world? I thought about waiting a few days before I wrote this so that the words would be more flowery and thought out. I decided, instead, to write it raw.

My father Rex passed away today. That tough old hoss fought against it with every breath and managed to confound us all with his sheer will to live throughout. In the end, his body finally gave out.

I've written a lot about my Dad this past year. In particular, I spoke of the kindness he had shown many times toward friends, neighbors and strangers by dropping off anonymous fresh garden vegetables on porches and patios. I've only scratched the surface of my father's generosity.

My Mom ran the clothing center and my father ran the food pantry at their church for many years. Anyone who's ever known what it's like to lose everything or simply not know where their next meal was coming from, knows that simply walking into that church basement might take all the courage one could muster. To then try to say the words, "I need help" often proves to be just too much to bear. My father wouldn't wait for them to say anything. He would simply place a hand on their shoulder, quite possibly share a tear with them and then wordlessly pack up a heaping box of food items for them and bid them farewell. My parents were masters at knowing how to help those in need. Why? Because they've been there.

Every Christmas, the Men's Fellowship at the church would make and deliver Christmas baskets filled with food to those in need. When I was younger, I accompanied my Dad on a few of those deliveries. One year, it was a brutal winter and we practically had to scale a steep frozen hillside to reach one of the homes. I wiped out more than once and let my overprivileged complaints be heard. My Dad, twice my age, wiped out too and nearly crawled up that hill on his hands and knees. At the top, he said, "No matter how rough you're feeling now, it's nothing compared to what these folks are going through." He was right as rain, of course....one of the many times he's humbled me.

I can only hope to be half the man Rex Haught was. It's hard to imagine the planet without him.

I love you, Dad. Now, you can finally rest easy once and for all. You've earned it.

10 comments:

Cindi Kennaley said...

You write beautifully about your wonderful father, Greg. I'm so sorry for your loss. Cindi

Kristy said...

I'm typing through tears now my friend. When I first got your call I stiffened. I had my directions as to how to help and I followed them. I came home and had a few tear filled moments. We talked back and forth about flight plans and transportation. Other ppl were weighing in and sending condolences to be passed from me to you. Everything was confirmed and then I had a moment to look up and I saw this post. Leave it to you to be the absolute beacon of calm and understanding amongst the chaos. You did that for me when my mom died. You did that for me again when Jim Reckard died. And now...you have posted so very very eloquently at the death of your own father. In a time when most people cannot speak at all you have spoke volumes in very few words. I remember the events that you have spoken of here. Our lives have been so intertwined at times that it seems your dad is my dad. I have laughed with you. I have rejoiced with you. I have celebrated with you. I have struggled with you. And now I grieve with you. Just as you did with me. I don't usually get overly religious in anything I write but tonight I KNOW that the heavens are rejoicing because they just added Rex Haught to their Rock and Roll band. He's tapping his foot and smiling (and I'm sure being as it is Halloween, my Mom is up there in some kind of crazy costume dancing around and handing out celestial candy.) I love you My Brother and I will see you soon.

Kate (Cathy Johnson) said...

Your dad sounds a bit like mine, Greg, and I still miss him very much. I'm so sorry...

Connie said...

Love you!!! My arms are wrapped around you for a big hug. See ya soon. If you need anything Stacie and I are there for you.

Charlotte's Web of Books said...

Greg, I am so sorry for your loss. You honor his memory well with your beautiful words. Not only today, but with every post you have ever written about him. He must have been so proud of you.

Linda C said...

Greg, I feel like I knew your Dad from reading your wonderful postings the last several months. You have honored his life, and now you honor his passing. Thank you for bringing me into your circle. Please let me know what I can do. Your friends are here with open arms, waiting for your return. Love...

Anonymous said...

~ Greg, I want to ditto the posts of the others. I knew Rex and loved him too. I can still see him standing at the church door shaking hands and having a little laugh. I enjoyed watching him in the choir and loved having he and Alberta sitting in the pew behind me. It is a great loss for Pleasants County but oh what a gain for Heaven. He needs the rest and God just decided it was time to call him home. Keep your posts following; we all love reading them and it is great therapy for you.

Deanna

karavon said...

Greg,
As usual, your words are very moving. Your dad sounds like a wonderful person who raised an amazing son. I am so sorry for your loss and hope you can find peace in this difficult time. You have become a very special friend to me and I hope that you will let me know if you need anything.

-Kara

Kitten said...

Love, love, love. Nothing but love for you. Hugs and more hugs and love.

Confounded Cook said...

Thank you all for your kind words and prayers. They've moved and helped me during this time more than you know. Much love to you all....

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